‘Travel & Tourism’ Features
You may have noticed that our popular website, DevilsLakeWisconsin.com has had a bit of a facelift for the new season. We’re really proud of the fresh new look, but that’s not all we’ve got in store for the new year! Our Skillet Creek Journal articles, blogs, photo galleries, news and notes will also be moving over on DevilsLakeWisconsin.com. A natural fit! What’s more, in 2012 we will be working with local radio WRPQ 99.7 FM and the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce to bring timely state park, outdoor and community tips, events, weather and other useful information to you through regular features on WRPQ 99.7 FM (Available right from your car or campsite of course!) and through our new “More to Explore” section of DevilsLakeWisconsin.com. In “More to Explore” you’ll find all the stuff you want to know about outside the borders of the park including Baraboo Hills shopping & dining info, weather news, maps to everywhere, more natural areas, tips on hiking, biking & paddling with your family and so much more. I could just ramble on, but I’ll stop right here, and simply invite you to join us over at DevilsLakeWisconsin.com this summer and while you’re here, make it a point to tune into 99.7. We look forward to seeing you!
Oh, and remember, for daily pics and your daily fix of the Devil’s Lake area vibe join us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SkilletCreek
After some amazingly warm January days, winter has returned with fury this morning. Forecasters are predicting between 5-7 inches in the Baraboo area today. We can tell you that while city streets were not too bad this morning, roads up in the Baraboo hills were already snow covered and slippery by dawn. The upside of today’s snow is that with temperatures predicted to remain in the 20s & 30s over the next few days, cross country skiers and snowshoers may finally get the opportunity to play.
Have a nice picture to share from today’s snowstorm? We invite you to share your Baraboo area snaps on our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/skilletcreek.
There has been some confusion about tomorrow night’s candlelight hike/ski at Mirror Lake State Park. We have just confirmed with the park office this morning that the event will go on as planned, sans skis. The unseasonably warm weather has us leaving our skis at home, but it will be a warm, wonderful evening for a January hike by candlelight. The current forecast calls for a high near 40f, which means the temps should be around 30f when the event kicks off. The friends of Mirror Lake State Park will be there with warm treats and tending to the warming bonfires. The event kicks off at 6pm at the main parking area by the beach.
Why go kayaking on Devil’s Lake in a snowstorm? Well, you get the experience of paddling in the artic, the high winds, the cold and the snow stinging at your face, but at the end of the day you get to go warm up on your own comfy couch! That’s exactly what I did yesterday for day 24 of my 100 miles to Winter paddle to celebrate Devil’s lake State Park’s 2011 centennial. For the full story and a bit of video click here.
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism Fall Color report is now calling Sauk County at Peak color. While we may feel that we’re actually a bit past “peak” we certainly agree that there is still a lot of color out there! The picture above was taken on South Shore Road at Devil’s Lake State Park just yesterday. The trick to finding amazing colors at this time of year is to head a bit deeper into the woods. Trees that are exposed to more sunlight, that get less water or are exposed to other stresses such as those on city streets, parks and other more public areas have mostly turned to sticks. Now you simply need to get a bit further off the beaten path to find some amazing colors. If we had to guess, there will still be some wonderful colors out there for the next week or so.. but things are defiantly beginning to decline.
O.K, so the Wisconsin Fall Color report is calling us at 50% color. Both the Baraboo & Wisconsin Dells chambers are reporting peak in approximately 2 weeks. Maybe. Certainly some of the most picturesque roads are not at their best yet. The entrance road to Devil’s Lake State Park is still mostly covered in green. But there’s more to enjoying Fall in Wisconsin than simply “Peak” color. What you really want is lots of color, great weather and fun activities all coming together on the same weekend. That’s what we call peak… And if you make the drive this weekend, you won’t be disappointed! Read the rest of this entry »
Wondering about fall colors here in the Baraboo Hills & The Devil’s Lake State Park area? Well, you can check in with the Wisconsin Fall Color report, (They even have an app for that now) but to be honest it’s always a bit hit or miss. You could call the local chamber of commerce. . . Honestly, I don’t think they get outside enough! Better yet, you can join us on our Skillet Creek Facebook page. It’s just like having a friend in town. Heck, we’re out there every day and we’ll let you know when things start really changing and share some of the best places to view the fall colors when they do arrive. What’s more, we’ll keep you up to date with local events, share daily pictures and much more. Oh, and by the way, that bit of color in today’s picture (above) came from Devil’s Lake State Park just this week. It’s coming. Promise.
I received an email from the Sauk County Humane Society today reminding everyone to keep your pets safe from the summer heat. The email went on to say that over the weekend a tourist from Illinois stopped by the humane society office with a dog they had left in the car, and were looking for a vet… the dog died. With that in mind, here’s some tips for keeping your pets safe & happy during hot weather from the US Humane Society:
Never leave your pets in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest animal shelter or police.
Shade and water are a must. Anytime your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun (a doghouse does not provide relief from heat) and plenty of fresh, cool water. Heatstroke can be fatal for pets as well as people.
Limit exercise on hot days. Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets who, because of their short noses, typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible.
Recognize the signs of heatstroke. In case of an emergency, it’s important to be able to identify the symptoms of heat stress caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian immediately. Some signs of heatstroke are: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.
If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, act quickly! Move the animal into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.
We began our 3 day bike trip through rural west-central Wisconsin in a downpour. In fact it rained on and off much of the first 2 days with the sun waiting to show its face until the morning of our very last day. You may think that’s a bad thing, but in truth biking in the rain can feel better than biking under a hot sun. The heavy clouds and wet landscape also added color and shadow to the environment that would have otherwise been lost in a white summer glare. There were sections of the trail that seemed more like they were winding their way through Panama than the heart of cow country. All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to take in Wisconsin’s amazing Elroy-Sparta and 400 Bike trails.
The annual spring Fair on the Square in Downtown Baraboo over the weekend was met with a mix of heavy clouds, cold winds and light rain, but as they say, “The show must go on!”. It’s fair to say a good number of people attend the show despite the weather, but not in the high numbers we could expect if the sun had been out. Still, I’m sure you’ll see it in print somewhere, “A fun time was had by all”, and that’s true enough. If you’re the sort of folks (Like us!) that don’t mind a bit of raw weather, the live music, stage shows, food and shopping did make for a fun day. I’ve posted a few more pictures from Saturday’s event in our Flickr Gallery.